A homeless man pleaded guilty and received shock time in prison this week for assaulting a Joplin homeowner who ushered him off his property when he caught him sleeping on his porch.
Michael B. Duke, 35, pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to a count of second-degree assault in a plea deal requiring shock incarceration. Judge David Mouton accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Duke to four years with the term to be served in the state's shock incarceration program and the court to review the case after 120 days for possible placement on probation.
Joplin resident Ernest D. Wilhoite, 52, found Duke asleep on his porch the morning of Aug. 5, 2018, and asked him to leave. Wilhoite escorted him off the property and turned to walk back to his house when Duke grabbed a metal pipe and began hitting Wilhoite with it, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Wilhoite was injured but declined medical attention at the time, according to Joplin police.